Hosts first international supply chain summit
BNSF Railway Company announced that it will become the first US railroad to open an office in China when its representative Shanghai office opens in the second quarter 2006.
The BNSF Shanghai office opening represents an expansion of BNSF’s presence in Asia. BNSF and its predecessor railroads opened their first offices in Japan in the early 1970s. The Railway’s expanded presence in Asia was announced at BNSF’s first-ever International Supply Chain Summit in Shanghai.
With a goal of working together to build a better link between China and the United States, the Summit attracted more than 350 people from several Asian countries responsible for the movement of consumer goods from Asia to North America.
‘As the United States’ trade with Asia continues to grow, it becomes more and more important for BNSF to collaborate with our customers in countries such as China to ensure the fluidity of U.S.-Asia trade,’ says Steve Branscum, group vice president, BNSF Consumer Products. ‘The BNSF International Supply Chain Summit and the new China office will allow us to expand our presence in Asia, strengthen existing partnerships with key stakeholders in international trade and explore growth opportunities in other Asian countries.’
BNSF’s international intermodal business, most of which originates in China, has grown at a compound annual growth rate of more than 13% since 2000.
‘China is a key driver in BNSF’s international intermodal business and we continue to expand our network and services to accommodate their growth,’ says Branscum.
While the growth of consumer products shipments from China on BNSF is relatively new, BNSF’s relationship with China is not. Since the early 1980s, BNSF and its predecessor railroads have been moving imports from China through Chinese ocean carrier COSCO and moving export grain to China. More recently, BNSF and the China Ministry of Railways signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Rail Transport on June 8, 2004. BNSF is the only railroad that has committed to provide this level of exchange of best practices in areas such as railway management, operations, logistics and technology. In addition, BNSF is expanding relationships with other China Ministries.